Category Archives: Student life

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UC Student Blogger | Receiving an academic progress letter

After the release of your exam results, colleges will check the progress of all their students to see if they are on track. If you aren’t heading in the right direction, Academic Progress Reviews can provide help and support, and get you back on the road to success. Find out more about Academic Progress Reviews here

As part of this review, you may receive an academic progress letter. UC student blogger gives their personal experience of receiving an academic progress letter and how to make the most of the support available. 

“Getting an academic progress letter indicates that you haven’t performed well in the past semester, and this has come to the attention of the college you are enrolled in. Getting an academic progress letter is not an inherently bad thing, it is more of a check-in or preliminary warning. It just means that your college wants to make sure that you’re adapting well to UC and that you’re not missing out on any services that you’re entitled to. I myself received one after my first semester of studying, and since then my academic performance has improved significantly. Initially receiving an academic letter seemed intimidating, but I now view it as a positive intervention.

An academic progress letter is intended to be a kind of check-up note. Don’t continue on as though nothing has happened. Take what has happened into account and follow the instructions dictated in the letter. It is recommended that you go and meet with a student advisor at your college as soon as you can. Do this quickly so that you, alongside a student advisor, can make a game plan on what you’re doing next. Certain classes only occur once per academic year so it’s important to ensure you’re not going to spend longer at university than you need to. Your college and student advisors are on your side, but it’s up to you to take the first step and acknowledge that you may need a helping hand.

I had already planned to change degree prior to getting an academic letter. Therefore, I needed to go and see a student advisor in my new college to ensure that I had transferred credits correctly and was on track. I know several students who have made use of the academic services that UC offers to all students free of charge and they can’t recommend it enough. Take advantage of everything UC has to offer, university is tough enough there’s no need to make it harder than it needs to be.

The university has clear expectations for the number of hours you are expected to dedicate to each paper. For a standard 15-point paper you are expected to set aside 10 hours a week for studying. Therefore, for a standard course load you are supposed to dedicate 40 hours per week to studying. Many of us fail to dedicate this amount of time to our studies throughout the semester. Other times, there is just a lot going on in our lives which means university can take a back seat, leading to poor performance. An academic progress letter indicates that you need to improve your performance and should be taken seriously.

Getting an academic progress letter was very intimidating for me, but planning in advance and speaking with a student advisor meant that I remained on track to graduate without any extra time spent at uni. Take the first step and go and see someone at university. You won’t regret reaching out.”

Find out more about Academic Progress Reviews here

UCSA’s Re-Ori is on!

Combining gigs with wholesome day-time activities, Re-Ori is UCSA’s annual event to welcome you back to campus.

For the latest Re-Ori news, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, or visit

Free events

Postgrad Schmooze (9 July): An evening of mixing, mingling and canapes for postgrad students.

Lunch on the Lawn (13 July): Your classic kiwi BBQ with  giant games and live music from Tunesoc.

Te Whiringa (13 July):  Immerse yourself in kiwi culture, grab some free hangi, experience a performance by Te Akatoki, and watch a free screening of the iconic kiwi film, Whale Rider!

Clubs Day (14 July): Explore UC’s buzzing and diverse club scene.

Matariki Market hosted by Te Akatoki (15 July): Join Te Akatoki in celebrating the Māori New Year. Grab some kai and listen to live performances from different Māori singers and groups or take a look around market stalls run by Māori-owned businesses and services from around Ōtautahi.

Winter Wellness Expo (16 July): A winter-time expo full of freebies and wellness-themed stalls. There’ll even be cute cuddly animals!

Pepsi Max Presents: Drive-in Movie Night (19 July): Grab the popcorn and settle in for a classic or two. We’ll be screening the Lego Movie followed by A Star is Born.

Our thanks to sponsors The Edge, V, Fresh Up, Eventbrite and Boss Coffee.

University of Canterbury Students Association (UCSA)

UC Student Blogger | Learning to respond to fear of failure

Receiving your exam results might be a cause for celebration, or a chance to reflect and think about your next steps. There is a range of support on offer for students, including practical steps you can take if your grades were not what you were expecting.

UC student blogger gives their personal experience of addressing their feeling of failure and how to manage this as part of your journey to success. 

“Everyone has experienced failure at some point in their lives whether they’re open about it or not. When I failed a paper in my first year of university, I thought I’d never get over it and that it was going to ruin the rest of my time at university. But over time I learnt to accept and let go of the feeling of failure I used to feel every time I saw the big ‘D’ on my grade page. Of course, learning is never linear, and it won’t happen overnight, but here are a few things to remember as well as some resources to check out that might help you on your own personal journey of managing the fear of failure at university.

Failing is part of learning. 

First of all, failing is hard. At best it can be uncomfortable and at worst it can be painful. It can lead to questioning yourself and your abilities, a lot of self-doubt and feeling like you’re not good enough. However, something people often forget is that failure is a huge part of the learning process. The important thing about managing the fear of failure at university is remembering that everyone struggles with failure at some point, regardless if it’s at university or sometime later in life. Some of the most successful and inspirational leaders of our time – like Barack Obama for example! – have struggled with failure. It’s how you learn from failure that’s important.

Learning how to respond to it can be an important part of success.

Responding to the fear of failure is hard for everyone and can sometimes feel impossible. The trick is to break up responding to it in small, simple steps! Firstly, sit down and write a list. What have you learnt from this experience? What would you do differently next time? What do you need to work on in the future? Answering these questions will help you give insight into what your next steps should be.

There is also a huge variety of support that can be found at UC for free that you should definitely take advantage of:

  • The Academic Skills Centre offers free workshops on everything academic from essay writing, note taking and exam preparation skills. And if you think you need some one-on-one time with an expert that can look over some of your work with fresh eyes, you can book a free 40-minute appointment with a learning advisor at Academic Skills as well!
  • Student Care offers free counselling services that are definitely worth checking out if the fear of failure is taking up a lot of mental space and you just want to talk to someone about it.
  • Student Advisors are on hand if you’re struggling with your courses or degree, and you need some expert advice on what a better fit for you and your interests could be.

Failure and defeat are not the same thing – keep your learning progress in context.

It’s important to keep in mind that failing isn’t the end of the world. Treat failure as a learning experience, no matter how uncomfortable it feels, and don’t let it defeat you! Also try and remember that getting over the fear of failure doesn’t happen overnight and will take some time. Cut yourself some slack and keep chipping away at the small things you can do to learn from the experience which you’ll benefit from in the future!”